Ayen Munji-Laurel (MNS Photo)

Ayen Munji-Laurel (MNS Photo)

MANILA (Mabuhay) — Some gauge acting excellence by the ability to cry on cue.

Well, theater and TV actress Ayen Munji-Laurel is required to shed copious amount of tears for her role on the ongoing teleserye “Beautiful Strangers.”

“Sometimes there’s a long line and then the director’s going to say ‘At this point, madami ka na dapat luha.’ You can’t fake those (scenes) by putting tears in your eyes,” she shared in a recent interview.

Professional that she is, Ayen doesn’t complain of crying for the cam many times, though she admits it can be “emotionally tiring.”

“Minsan, walang biro, I have like 15 scenes to shoot per day, and 12 (scenes) dun iiyak ako. Ganu’n kadami ‘yung iyakan,” she shared.

In any case, she is happy to get the chance to work with “Beautiful Strangers” co-stars Dina Bonnevie, Heart Evangelista, Christopher de Leon and Lovi Poe, describing them as “inspiring.”

The 43-year-old singled out working with Christopher as dream come true. “Noon pa lang gusto ko na talaga siyang maka-trabaho. Ngayon, it’s real na,” she said.

She lauded the actor for being a gentleman especially when doing intimate scenes.

“Ang galing… Kasi ‘at this point’ lang niya gagawin ‘yung kiss, then, that’s it. Hindi ‘yung tipong paulit-ulit. He handled it well,” Ayen shared.

Getting to know Heart was “refreshing” for Ayen who, prior, thought the actress “untouchable, protected and sheltered.”

“Normal pala siyang tao,” she jested. “Magaan siyang katrabaho, walang arte, tapos masayahin din. Marami kaming on the side na tsika even her personal life which I appreciate kasi she’s also open.”

Ayen, who also dabbles in painting, admires Heart who’s also into it. “She’s so talented, ang galing niya. I love her collections. Sabi nga niya, the next time daw na magkakaroon siya ng exhibit, i-invite niya ako.”

She also likes it that Heart is “malambing.” She shared, “Minsan feeling ko magka-edad kami. We talk about sensible things.”

On the other hand, Ayen described Dina as “very funny.”

She said, “Akala mo lang suplada siya, stoic or mataray. Pero when you get to talk to her, ang bait naman, masarap siyang kausap. She knows what she’s doing kaya it’s really nice to work with her.”

As for Lovi, Ayen said, “Nakakatuwa ‘yung batang ‘yun kasi ang lalim ng pagiging artista niya. Alam mong sensitive actress. And not just that, alam mong malayo ang mararating niya kasi kita kong hindi siya fake. It comes from the heart kumbaga.

“There was a time akala ko hihimatayin siya kasi the scene was talagang nagwawala siya. She was hyperventilating. Bago mag-start ‘yung scene, nagwawala na siya. So bago pa lang mag-take ‘yung direktor, kailangan na niyang umiyak,” she further related.

“You can see that she’s going to go far. Hindi maarte, very pleasant to work with. And kahit hindi siya nasa harap ng camera, mabait siya.” she added.

It’s been awhile since Ayen got to sing. She’s gradually getting back to it, performing in small events. “I’m glad I’m singing again. Namiss ko din eh. Ang sarap pala,” she said.

Ayen cleared, however, that she is not planning to record another album anytime soon.

“Nakakawalang gana na mag-produce ng record ngayon dahil pwede ka nang mag-release sa YouTube and people will just download it. So bakit ka pa magpo-produce? Siguro someday, but not now. Let’s just wait and see.” (MNS)